In Exodus 3, God famously appears to Moses in a burning bush and sends him to rescue the Israelites. Fearing nobody will believe him, Moses says, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” (Exodus 3:13).
And then God tells us his name.
“I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you’” (Exodus 3:14).
I am—or in Hebrew, YHWH (Yahweh). Most people have at least heard of the story of the burning bush before, and you’ve probably heard that Yahweh is one of the ways the Bible refers to God.
But the name of Yahweh isn’t just a personal pronoun. In Scripture, the phrase “the Name” actually signifies the presence of Yahweh. “The Name” is personified, and it’s used interchangeably with Yahweh himself. It even blurs the lines between two separate beings: Yahweh and the angel of the Lord.
“The name of Yahweh” as it’s used in the Old Testament plays an important role in Christian theology: it lays the foundation for the Trinity, and God’s incarnation as man in Jesus Christ.
In his groundbreaking book, The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible, Dr. Michael S. Heiser uses his expertise in Semitic languages and the Hebrew Bible to piece together what we know about “the name of Yahweh,” honing in on the ambiguous relationship between Yahweh and the angel of the Lord, who often appears when Yahweh is speaking.
The following post is adapted from The Unseen Realm….
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